After the 1868 revolution the gardens became municipal property and so, a public park. Kiosks and small theatres for puppets and music were built, and a big walk was opened for coaches which ran from North to South thus connecting the Park to the City.
At the end of the XIX Century and the beginning of the XX Century the Retiro was used for different international exhibitions. Some outstanding buildings remain today like the Palacio de Cristal and the Velazquez Palace as well as the whole landscaped garden that was built for those events.
In the course of time, the Retiro turned into the heart of the city and inevitably, it was overrun by motor vehicles until the 1970´s.
The location of the Retiro, its leisure activities such us boats, puppet theatres, open-air music concerts, kiosks as well as singers, musicians and painters, make it a favourite of the inhabitants of Madrid and visitors alike who use it as a meeting point and leisure option today.